Blog / 2012

Christopher Fowler
Before I embark on the next Bryant & May novel, I'm submitting the outline of a supernatural suspense thriller which would be the first in a proposed series. As a consequence, I've been researching un/usual places to set such a story and have drawn up a shortlist of a few favourites. In no particular order, here they are; 1. Backstreets Most cities have areas they're anxious not to have displayed…
14 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Why are London pubs so often situated on corners? Landowners controlled large pieces of land and worked with developers through the leasehold system. The landowners let plots out to the developers, who paid for the construction of long terraces, and the developers borrowed to pay construction costs. The pubs, therefore, were built first in order to house, feed and water the builders. In the worst…
Tags:
London pubs
8 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
My obsession with Norman Wisdom began as a small child. Every adult found him deeply annoying, but I thought he was hilarious. It helped that he looked like my father, I suppose, and was the same height. Then I realised that for all its love of complex wordplay, the British seem to love a slapstick fall, from Wisdom dropping onto the roof of an ambulance to Del Boy vanishing through the bar and…
Tags:
class comedy
7 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
Or just an attention-seeking plot line? Spiderman's alter-ego has been wiped out in the 700th issue of 'Spider Man', knocked off at the hands of Dr Octopus. But experts say he'll be back; DC Comics revived Superman less than a year after his "death" and the Flash eventually came back two decades after his demise. Captain America was killed off in 2007 – only to turn out to be lost in time…
8 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
You can see why Kathryn Bigelow was attracted to the story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden; a tough lone female, plenty of firepower, a woman doing a man's job - it's not such a jump from 'The Hurt Locker' or indeed 'Blue Steel'. At a Black Site in the Middle East (or Asia - it's never specified) a man is repeatedly tortured until he yields the name of bin Laden's trusted courier. Maya (Jessica…
4 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London & Observatory
It's part of a fantasy London of umbrellas and cockneys, but I have only ever seen a handful of people wearing these, usually ironically. The idea of showing England as a country of bowler-hatted bankers is as absurdly anachronistic as imagining Americans riding through towns on horses - but the image persists. Why? Well, it wasn't called a bowler hat originally. It was a Coke (pronounced Cook)…
11 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
Farewell, then, to Gerry Anderson, the hero of any boy born after the war. The creator of Supercar, Fireball XL5 (1962), Stingray (1964), Thunderbirds (1965), Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967) and Joe 90 changed puppetry from Muffin The Mule-type shows to something any kid with an interest in Eagle cutaways could get their teeth into. Chief among these was Thunderbirds, the pop-art SF…
9 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
...this is what you get. Something that not only frightens the children but also makes them feel guilty until they're forty. I thought it was only Smaug who hid inside huge piles of gold in his impregnable fortress? Whatever you believe is fine with me, so long as you don't insist on everyone else believing it too. A very Merry Yuletide to all.
6 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
Just a few more posts before the end of the year, with next year shaping up as a bumper one. 'Invisible Ink: How 100 Great Authors Disappeared' is in bookshops right now from Strange Attractor Press, 'and The Casebook of Bryant & May is now ordering in its beautiful hardback limited edition from PS Publishing here. The first Bryant & May graphic novel was written partly to bring new readers up to…
5 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Manzi's Pie & Eel shop on Chapel Street Market in Islington seems to have been left behind from a monochrome period in London's past. The pies and mash and eels and liquor - a frighteningly green liquid poured over the pies - still appear on the counters every day, but as the working class nature of the market subtly changes such places have a tendency to vanish. Broadway Market is already…
6 comments

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